Review: “Fire and Granite” by Andrew Grey

TITLE: Fire and Granite
AUTHOR: Andrew Grey
SERIES: Carlisle Deputies
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Kanaxa
GENRE: Contemporary Romance; Mystery/Suspense
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 200 pages
RELEASE DATE: July 10, 2018
PRICE: $6.99 – e-book/ $14.99 – paperback

BLURB:

A Carlisle Deputies Novel
The heat is growing from the inside, but danger is building on the outside.
Judge Andrew Phillips runs a tight ship in his courtroom. He’s tough, and when he hands down a sentence, he expects to be obeyed. So when a fugitive named Harper escapes and threatens his life, Andrew isn’t keen on twenty-four/seven protection… especially not from Deputy Clay Brown. They have a past, one that could cause problems in their careers.
But with Clay assigned to Andrew and the two of them together every minute, there’s nowhere to hide from their attraction—or from the fact that there’s much more than chemistry blooming between them. As the threat intensifies, Clay knows he’ll do anything it takes to protect the people who are taking their places in his heart: Andrew and his young niece and nephew.


Fire and Granit is the second book in the Carlisle Deputies series by Andrew Grey. The Carlisle Deputies series is a spin-off of the Carlisle Cops series, and we do get some cameos from the Carlisle cops which I enjoyed since I greatly enjoyed reading the Carlisle Cops series and it’s like getting to see old friends again. Fans of the Carlisle Cops series will definitely enjoy reading the Carlisle Deputies series, but you don’t have to read the Carlisle Cops series to read the Carlisle Deputies series.

I enjoyed the author’s easy reading style and the pacing of the book. The book was nicely written and detailed. I also enjoyed the plot even though Judges aren’t my favorite profession. They’re right up there with lawyers. There seem to be some good ones, but most seem to be corrupt or lord their power over you.

I’m glad to say that the Judge in this book is one of the good ones, but that doesn’t mean that he’s a pushover in the courtroom. He has a reputation for being hard but fair which doesn’t make him the most loved by the criminals that he’s sentenced. When one of the criminals that he sentenced escapes and threatens his life, he will be put under twenty-four/seven protection. Which he isn’t keen about but it would be tolerable if it were any deputy except Deputy Clay Brown. They have a past, and neither is happy that they have to work together, but the longer they’re forced to be together, the more they realize that their first impressions of each other might have been wrong or not necessarily wrong but that they are different than their professional personas. Clay realizes that Judge Phillips does have a heart and a softer side that he doesn’t show to everybody. And Judge Phillips realizes the same thing about Clay.

I loved their chemistry and how they have their mother’s terrible cooking in common. I also loved how Andrew ends up being responsible for his niece and nephew after his sister is admitted to the hospital. I also liked the secondary characters and how they’re included in the book for a reason instead of being one-dimensional filler characters. I thought the author did a great job handling the subject of depression and how it affected a single mom with kids and her brother who will be their guardian until she gets better—if she gets better. I also liked that the escaped prisoner is Clay’s cousin. I don’t know if every family has that weird and messed up cousin or uncle but I know that my family does, so I could really relate to that.

Overall, another great book by Andrew Grey and a great addition to the series.

***The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book ***

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “Living Promises” by Amy Lane

TITLE: Living Promises
AUTHOR: Amy Lane
SERIES: Keeping Promise Rock Series
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Paul Richmond
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 350 pages
RELEASE DATE: Jul 04, 2011
PRICE: $6.99 -e-book / $17.99 -paperback

BLURB:

Six years ago, Jeff Beachum comforted a frightened teenager outside an HIV treatment clinic, and Collin Waters has remembered his kindness ever since. Now, after six years of crushing on the kind, brown-eyed sweetheart of his dreams, Collin is feeling adult and together enough to make his move. Too bad fate, which has never been kind to Jeff, has something else in mind.
Jeff’s life had fallen completely apart before that long-ago day, and it isn’t much better now. Jeff has toughened up, become self-reliant, been the funny guy his friends turn to, the one who gives advice and comfort when needed. But every phantom from Jeff’s past is about to come out to haunt him, and the family Jeff has staked his future on isn’t in such great shape either. Collin is more than a starry-eyed kid, and it’s a good thing, because Jeff’s going to need all the help he can get. No one knows better than Jeff that life can be too short to turn your back on honest love, and that living happily is the best promise of all.


As you know already, with the approval of Dreamspinner Press, we’re reviewing previously published books. We continue with Amy Lane‘s, Keeping Promise Rock contemporary romance series.
I love this series but this book …

This sequel of the series was not as good as I was hoping for. I loved Jeff from the very first moment we met him as Crick’s PA. He charmed me with his outgoing behavior, sassy attitude and strong personality.
But this book turned him into a “woman”. Without disrespecting the author or the series, this story turns out to be a false-stereotyping bottom=girl-in-the-relationship type of tail. From the strong personality, he becomes a sobbing, quivering damsel in distress. Maybe the author did it unconsciously, but as I read it, it annoyed me to hell.

Collin is 13 years younger and has a bad boy attitude. He’s had a 5-year crush on Jeff and when the opportunity comes he, finally, makes a move.

Jeff can’t get past the age difference, but in the end, he leans on Collin. Right. And this…!

I don’t know, maybe its just me being a man, maybe having the man-pride myself, but that doesn’t bode well with me. An over 37-year-old leaning on a 24-year-old boy, just not ok in my book. Jeff is strong, we all know that we all need a shoulder from time to time, but for a 24-year-old to have more manliness in him than a 37-year-old grown man who takes care of all his friends…well, that is a lack in his character. This wasn’t a first time when I read a series where a personality change happens to a character. For me, it’s just kind of ruins the book, if not the whole series.

Toward the end of the book, the story was repetitive. We read again and again about previous MC’s of the series. There are a lot of health issues going around. It seems that everyone gets sick at the same time. It was a bit depressing.

As much as I loved the previous books, this felt stretched.

***The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book ***

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “Making Promises” by Amy Lane

TITLE: Making Promises
AUTHOR: Amy Lane
SERIES: Keeping Promise Rock Series
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Paul Richmond
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 376 pages
RELEASE DATE: Jul 26, 2010
PRICE: $6.99 -e-book / $17.99 -paperback

BLURB:

All Shane Perkins ever wanted to be was a hero. But after a career-shattering decision to go down fighting, Shane comes home from the hospital to four empty walls, a pile of money, and a burning desire for someone to miss him the next time he gets hurt in the line of duty. He ends up an officer in the small town of Levee Oaks, and, addicted to the promise of family, he makes an effort to reconcile with his flighty, troubled sister. Kimmy makes her living as a dancer, and her partner steals Shane’s breath at first sight. Mikhail Vasilyovitch Bayul dances like an angel, but his past is less than heavenly. Since he left Russia, he’s made only two promises: to stay off the streets and stay clean, and to take his mother someplace beautiful before she dies. Making promises to anybody else is completely out of the question-but then, Mikhail has never met anybody like Shane. Earnest, brave, and self-deprecating, Shane seems to speak Mikhail’s language, and no one is more surprised than Mikhail to find that keeping promises is Shane’s best talent of all.


As you know already, with the approval of Dreamspinner Press, we’re reviewing previously published books. We continue with Amy Lane‘s, Keeping Promise Rock contemporary romance series.

I love this series!

This second book of the Promise Rock Series can be read as a standalone. We met Mikhail in book one, as Shane’s boyfriend, for a brief moment. That was kind of a spoiler, but I enjoyed this sequel anyway.

Shane is the new officer of Levee Oaks living with a hurtful past from L.A. He was betrayed by his boyfriend/colleague and also by his squad. Shane has a kind of hero complex. He likes to help and save the day.
His sweet nature is often misunderstood for a simpleton brute. He is a big man. Often he’s called ugly and fat. That leads to him being an introvert and a people pleaser.
When he’s visiting his tween sister, who is performing as a dancer in Renaissance Fair, his breath is taken away by the slender, gracious Mikhail. He stares at him silently from afar hoping to be noticed even though he knows that he has no chance with someone like Mikhail.

Mikhail is Russian with a brutal past. After his knee is injured, his dream of becoming a professional dancer is killed as well. He buries himself in auto destructive behavior, and when that is too much, his mother takes him to the US.
When fate brings Shane in his way, he takes it by his hand (literally). He spends a marvelous day with this amazing man, and he leaves him waiting for more. And then Shane does something awful…he makes promises to Mickey.

Guys, grab this series already if you didn’t do it before and read it.

The sweetness and shyness of these men is just adorable. The strength that lives within, the brotherhood and the dedication to each other is tear-jerking. I’m in love with this series…!

***The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book ***

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “Knitting a Broken Heart Back Together” by Ari McKay

TITLE: Knitting a Broken Heart Back Together
AUTHOR: Ari McKay
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Bree Archer
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: No
LENGTH: 111 pages
RELEASE DATE: July 6, 2018
PRICE: $4.99 – e-book

BLURB:

Second Edition
When a Christmas shopping expedition brings Tomy Peralta into Jason Winters’s yarn store, both men feel an immediate and intense spark of attraction, but dance instructor Tomy intends to propose to his boyfriend, Sean, at Christmas. Unfortunately for Tomy, marriage isn’t on career-minded Sean’s agenda. Heartbroken, Tomy throws himself into his work until his mother convinces him that learning to knit might help take his mind off his failed romance.
Jason falls hard for Tomy, but he knows Tomy needs time to heal and to trust in love again. As Jason teaches Tomy to knit, Tomy teaches him to dance in return. Just when it seems Tomy is ready for a new romance, Sean shows up, wanting Tomy back. Will Tomy give his heart to Sean once more, or will Tomy finally see Sean for who he truly is, and choose the man who helped him knit his heart together again?


Knitting a Broken Heart Back Together is another great book by Ari McKay. I love their righting style. It’s really easy to read and easily conveys the details and emotions that the characters are feeling. Ari McKay is one of my favorite authors to go to for low angst sweet stories with just the right amount of heat to them. The characters are always lovable and relatable. They make mistakes just like real people and learn from them. And you can always feel the love that they have for each other.

I also enjoy the supporting characters, which in this case is the knitting group that gets together and hangs out at the yarn store that Jason owns. I also enjoyed Tomy’s mother and sister and how they were always there to help in any way that was needed.

I’m also a huge fan of the plot and how it’s about a ballroom dancer turned dance teacher, who runs the family dance studio, and an ex-NFL player turned yarn store owner. I love watching movies and TV shows like Strictly Ballroom, Dirty Dancing, Dancing with the Stars, and World of Dance. And I have also tried my hand at knitting winter hats and giving them as Christmas presents to loved ones, so I could relate to this book, and I loved everything about it.

While looking for Christmas presents for his mother and sister, Tomy Peralta goes into their favorite yarn store to get them just the right gifts and meets Jason Winters, the store owner. Getting some great recommendations from Jason, Tomy leaves with the invitation to join the knitting class held once a month at the store. And although Tomy is about to propose to his boyfriend, he can’t deny the attraction and chemistry that he has for the shop owner. When his boyfriend rejects his proposal on Christmas Eve, he’s devastated, but his mother convinces him to try knitting as a way of distracting himself from his heartache and drags him to the knitting class at Jason’s shop.

Jason Winters blew out his knee in his second year playing professional football, and since he had saved his money and invested it instead of spending it, he was able to buy a yarn shop. During his knee injury recovery, he learned how to knit and found that he loved it and decided to try his hand at having his own yarn store. When Tomy comes into the store for presents, Jason falls for him hard. When he finds out that he’s going to propose to his boyfriend, he’s disappointed until he learns from Tomy’s mom that Tomy’s boyfriend broke up with him.

He knows that Tomy has a long recovery before he’ll be ready to date again but Jason’s willing to wait. And until he’s ready, Jason will be a friend to lean on. Jason also has his sister’s wedding coming up and would like to be able to dance without making a fool of himself and who better to help him then a ballroom instructor. If it also helps with Tomy’s recovery, all the better. I especially loved the part where he learns how to do the Tango and later the Paso Doble.

When Tomy’s ex comes back into the picture will Tomy get back together with him or stay with Jason? You’re just going to have to read the book to find out. I know that I was happy with how the story turned out and I think you will too. I recommend this book to anybody that likes low angst sweet love stories with lovable characters.

***The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book ***

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “Keeping Promise Rock” by Amy Lane

TITLE: Keeping Promise Rock
AUTHOR: Amy Lane
SERIES: Keeping Promise Rock Series
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Paul Richmond
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 344 pages
RELEASE DATE: Jan 17, 2010
PRICE: $6.99 -e-book / $17.99 -paperback

BLURB:

Carrick Francis has spent most of his life jumping into trouble with both feet. The only thing saving him from prison or worse is his absolute devotion to Deacon Winters. Deacon was Crick’s sanity and salvation during a miserable, abusive childhood, and Crick would do anything to stay with him forever. So when Deacon’s father dies, Crick puts his college plans on hold to help Deacon as Deacon has helped him.
Deacon’s greatest wish is to see Crick escape his memories and the town they grew up in so Crick can enjoy a shining future. But after two years of growing feelings and temptation, the painfully shy Deacon finally succumbs to Crick’s determined advances and admits he sees himself as part of Crick’s life.
It nearly destroys Deacon when he discovers Crick has been waiting for him to push him away, just like Crick’s family did in the past. When Crick’s knack for volatile decisions lands him far away from home, Deacon is left, shell-shocked and alone, struggling to reforge his heart in a world where love with Crick is a promise, but by no means a certainty.


As you know already, with the approval of Dreamspinner Press, we’re reviewing previously published books. We continue with Amy Lane‘s, Keeping Promise Rock contemporary romance series.

Oh my, what a read!

I can’t help it; when it comes to sappy romance, I’m a goner. Well, in this case, the sappy was me. I cried several times during the book. It wasn’t always a sad cry.

The only thing I didn’t like was the prologue. So if you’re like me, and you don’t like that after the prologue, in the first chapter, they go back in time, then I advise you to skip it. You won’t lose much.
The story, after the prologue, starts when Crick, our MC, at the age of 9, meets Deacon the son of Parish, the owner of The Pulpit. It was love at first sight. First the ranch, then the horses, and then Deacon. In less than 5 minutes.

Crick’s domestic situation is troubled. His alcoholic step-dad calls him the Mex-kid. He’s radical-religious white trash. But Crick wants to learn how to ride a horse. So Parish offers him a deal. He’ll come Saturday to Sunday to help out at the ranch, and in return, Deacon will teach him how to ride a horse. That is how Crick earns himself a new caring family.

Years pass by, and Crick finds himself in more trouble than necessary. Deacon is always there to help him get through the rough times. The hero worship slash idolization of Deacon during Crick’s teenage years turns into flaming desire and unconditional love.
But when Crick thinks he has it all, life has other plans.

Deacon knows, from the very first meeting that Crick is it for him. So he waits patiently for the years to pass by and finally claims what’s his, Crick. Deacon is an introvert. You may say the epitome of introversion. The only person who can penetrate his walls is Crick. Deacon knows that Crick is meant to be more than a farm boy. He keeps telling Crick to go, spread his wings and fly. But Crick is waiting on everyone to push him out of their life, so he takes it in the wrong way, and in that spare of a moment, Crick does the unthinkable and enrols into the army.

I loved both MC’s. I fall in love with Deacon’s kindness I related to his responsibility, to his character. Crick’s outgoing behaviour, and his unconditional worship for Deacon took my breath away.

I highly recommend this book to everyone! I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did!

Wonderful job Amy Lane!

***The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book ***

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

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